American Airline impact locally

Thursday, September 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

American Airline's president declared "a state of emergency" and said the company will lay off at least 20,000 workers because a lot of people just aren't flying after last week's terrorist attacks.

American is Tulsa's largest employer and has more than a thousand workers who live in Owasso. News on Six reporter Paul Serrell says both communities will be affected. The terrorist attacks badly wounded the airline industry and now there's a great deal of financial bleeding. American's president issued a statement in Dallas saying the layoffs will affect not just American, but also its new partner TWA and the American Eagle commuter line.

Local American employees like Jad Smith are worried. "It's a little scary not knowing what's going to happen. I'm employed today. I hope to be employed tomorrow." And so do thousands of others just like him. American employs almost 10,000 people Tulsa, and is a big reason our aerospace industry generates $3.3-billion in economic impact each year in the metro area. That’s why many people in Owasso have their fingers crossed. Many of American's workers call the suburb home. The community has been growing along the Highway 169 corridor. And the Owasso Chamber of Commerce hopes the threat of layoffs won't change that.

Many American workers would like to buy into that optimism, but are also preparing for what they could be facing soon. The number of job cuts in the Tulsa area is expected to be announced in the next couple of days.